1. Carcass measurement and dissection data from 250 pigs reared at the stations of the National Pig Progeny Testing Board have been analysed to study the value of the carcass measurements in predicting the percentage lean in the carcass.
2. Differences between sexes in the carcass characteristics were generally larger than those between breeds. Gilts had a higher percentage of lean meat than the hogs, with larger eye muscle dimensions and smaller measurements of backfat thickness.
3. For pigs of the same breed and sex, the best predictions of leanness possible without cutting the carcass were derived from measurements of shoulder and minimum loin backfat (see Figure 1). Mid-backfat measurements improved the accuracy of prediction, but length and depth of carcass did not. The residual standard error in percentage lean at constant shoulder and minimum loin backfat was 2·66% of side weight overall but this was reduced to 2·28% by adjustments for breed and sex.
4. Measurements made after cutting the carcass at the last rib gave more accurate predictions of percentage lean than did the split carcass measurements. The residual standard error in percentage lean at constant B, C and K (see Figure 2) was 1·97 % of side weight overall, reduced to 1·88 % by adjustments for breed and sex.
5. The implications of these relationships in carcass grading and carcass evaluation generally are discussed.
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